I wonder how many of my readers knew, when they married their husbands, that one day they would be living and serving in a different culture. We knew how to love our husbands in our home context, but how do we love our husbands in this context? So much has changed. He has days so filled with toil that he barely drags in the door. Other days he is flying high, filled with the joy of fulfilled dreams. How do I love this guy in this place?
Paul the Apostle wrote an honest, instructive letter to his young friend and co-worker, Titus. At the time Titus was a pastor serving in a morally confused and degraded culture. Part of Paul’s straight-forward counsel had to do with the behavior of the more mature women in the church. They needed to be reverent, not slanderous, not addicted to any substance, and capable of teaching what is good. Then he gives his reason:
‘Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children.’
Titus 2:4 NIVUK
I always assumed that the word for love in this verse was agape, or covenant love. That seemed to imply a duty to love. But the Greek word is philandros, a word that carries a feeling of friendship for the man you married. Both are great words. And both, along with eros, a word that often describes sexual love, have importance for a healthy marriage.
As PW’s we need to remember that even though our husbands might be doing heroic or sacrificial deeds, and even though we might be just as involved, our husbands need our love in all its dimensions. For now, I want us to remember the importance of being our husband’s loving friend. [Read more…]